Associate Degree - Online Accounting Classes | Penn Foster College

Online Associate Degree in Accounting

Why Penn Foster College?

  • Nationally Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Online Accounting Degree Overview

Our Associate Degree in Accounting covers many important aspects of the field, such as corporate accounting, payroll, and computerized accounting. At an average cost of $79 per credit, you can earn your Associate Degree in Accounting affordably online. Your lessons will help you learn accounting knowledge and skills in a flexible and convenient way.

Whether you want to begin your Accounting career in a small business environment or a large corporation, the Penn Foster College Associate Degree in Accounting Program is designed to help you take the first steps toward your career.

Associate Degrees from Penn Foster College are awarded under licensing from the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The Accounting Associate Degree program is primarily designed to prepare students for opportunities in entry-level positions in the field of accounting, but can also be used as a foundation for further training.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrate a high level of inquiry, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Demonstrate effective quantitative skills
  • Demonstrate computer and information literacy
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the liberal arts, natural sciences, and social sciences
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and processes involved in various functional areas and the need for collaboration among the different functions
  • Complete the accounting cycle and create and analyze financial statements to ensure that they are accurate and comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures.
  • Explain the key issues of internal control of cash in balance and cash flow statements and external financial reporting
  • Create, organize, and maintain financial records
  • Discuss and apply ethical and legal standards to the business environment
  • Demonstrate an understanding of economic and financial markets and the business economy
  • Demonstrate how to assess financial data and make best-practices recommendations to management

Semester 1

Basic Skills Assessment

All degree applicants are required to complete two Basic Skills Assessments, one in reading and one in math, to determine the level of readiness for beginning their selected program. Additional studies may be required.

BUS100 Business Orientation 1 credit

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program, and learn how to effectively manage your time, talents, and resources in your personal life, academics, and in your career.

Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
  • Examine your individual life goals and the steps needed to fulfill them.
  • Recognize how your personal financial goals mirror that of most businesses.
  • Use time management skills to make the most of your day.
  • Determine personal financial goals.
  • Set up a typical budget.
  • Explain why creative thinking, research, planning, gathering resources, and production and marketing are vital for the start-up and maintenance of a business.
ENG103 Information Literacy 1 credit

Get better at finding and using information!

Objectives:

  • Search the Internet more effectively.
  • Get tips about search engines and reliable websites.
  • Learn how to search libraries and other information centers for important, useful information.
BUS101 Introduction to Business 3 credits

This course is designed to introduce you to basic business concepts, theories, and perspectives. It will serve as a basis for further learning in your program.

Objectives:

  • Understand the principles of business ethics and basic economics.
  • Compare the different types of business ownership.
  • Describe the basics of organizational structure.
  • Identify the differences between management and leadership.
  • Understand the importance of information technology in today’s business environments.
HUM102 Art Appreciation 3 credits

This course will provide you with the foundational knowledge needed to critique a variety of artwork.

Objectives:

  • Understand artistic media.
  • Identify historical periods and artistic movements.
  • Explain the roles of the artist and the viewer.
MAT106 Mathematics for Business and Finance 3 credits

This course will hone your math skills so you are able to successfully use them in business and finance industries.

Objectives:

  • Use percentages, discounts, and interest formulas effectively.
  • Analyze present worth and sinking funds.
  • Understand how to buy in installments and price merchandise.
  • Explain depreciation, insurance, equations, and formulas.
  • Discuss investments and statistics.
ACC111 Financial Accounting 3 credits

This course provides a basic introduction to the study of finance, including financial institutions, investments, and corporate finance.

Objectives:

  • Solve problems that involve the time value of money.
  • Perform a basic analysis of financial statements.
  • Describe the components of financial assets.
  • Explain the role of a financial intermediary.
  • Describe the role of security markets.
  • List the components of financial decision making.
Proctored Exam

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Semester 2

CSC104 Computer Applications 3 credits

This course will allow you to build your computer skills through a combination of reading and hands-on practice. You will navigate popular software tools such as Windows® and Microsoft® Office.

Objectives:

  • Create, edit, and illustrate Microsoft® Word™ documents.
  • Apply formulas and functions to large data sets in Microsoft® Excel.®
  • Incorporate useful charts and graphs to summarize data.
  • Add, delete, sort, and lay out table data.
  • Create presentations in Microsoft® PowerPoint® using advanced tools, tables, and charts.
ACC112 Managerial Accounting 3 credits

This course provides an introduction to managerial accounting; analysis: C-V-P and management; budgeting and performance evaluation; decentralized operations; differential analysis and product pricing; capital investment analysis, and cost activities.

Objectives:

  • Understand cost classifications as applied to preparing financial statements, predicting cost behavior, and making decisions
  • Understand the flow of cost in job-order costing and use activity-based absorption costing to compute product costs
  • Understand the flow of process costing, computing the cost per equivalent unit using the weighted-average method and FIFO method and allocating department costs using the direct and step-down methods
  • Explain how changes in activity affect contribution margin and net operating income and examine cost-volume-profit relationships, such as margin of safety and break-even points
  • Explain how variable costing differs from absorption costing and prepare income statements using the different approaches as tools for management
  • Understand activity-based costing and how it differs from a traditional costing system
  • Understand budgets, the process used to create budgets, and the preparation of various kinds of budgets
  • Compute and record various variances
  • Understand and compute various performance measurements
  • Prepare differential analysis as a key to decision making
  • Evaluate calculations for capital budgeting decisions
  • Prepare a statement of cash flows using the direct and indirect methods and compute free cash flow
  • Compute and interpret financial ratios Textbook: Managerial Accounting
ENG100 English Composition 3 credits

This course will allow you to polish and enhance your writing skills.

Objectives:

  • Effectively use free writing and brainstorming.
  • Perfect your ability to edit and revise your writing.
  • Apply techniques for getting the reader’s attention.
  • Write descriptive essays, first-person narratives, reflective essays, persuasive essays, and effective thesis statements.
BUS110 Principles of Management 3 credits

This course will review the functions of management and its role in planning, leading, organizing, motivating, and controlling.

Objectives:

  • Define and correctly use business terms.
  • Explain the importance of communication.
  • Identify the steps of managerial decision making.
  • Explain the relevance of the basic skills required by managers.
  • Describe major components of various management perspectives.
  • Discuss the ever-increasing employee diversity and the management activities required for the changing workforce.
Arts and Humanities Elective (Choose one) 3 credits

HUM104 - Music Appreciation

This course will allow you to understand and appreciate the art of music.

Objectives:

  • Identify the basic principles of music theory, including melody, harmony, dynamics, and timbre.
  • Name the main types of musical instruments.
  • Distinguish various styles of music.
  • Identify influential composers of various periods of musical history.

ENG115 - Introduction to Literature 

This course will allow you to develop your critical thinking skills and broaden your knowledge of literature.

Objectives:

  • Identify themes and forms of literature.
  • Define the main genres of literature—poetry, fiction, and drama.
BUS121 Economics 1 3 credits

This course provides an overview of macroeconomics and the modern market economy. You will learn about economy-wide phenomena such as unemployment, national income, and price levels.

Objectives:

  • Identify the basic function of economics in our society
  • Examine various economic tradeoffs that people face
  • Explain the laws of supply and demand
  • Use the concept of elasticity to explain changes in a market
  • Discuss the pros and cons of trade restrictions
  • Calculate and interpret the unemployment rate and the labor-force participation rate
  • Describe the notion of deadweight loss and its relevance to taxes
  • Draw and interpret short-run and long-run Phillips curves
  • Explain why economists focus on GDP, inflation, and unemployment when assessing economic health
  • Describe how comparative advantage and specialization affect international trade
  • Describe how differences between world prices and domestic prices prompt exports and imports
  • Describe how changes in income affect consumption and saving
Proctored Exam

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Semester 3

ACC201 Intermediate Accounting 1 3 credits

This course will allow you to gain an understanding of external financial reporting.

Objectives:

  • Describe the function of financial accounting.
  • Discuss the establishment of accounting standards as set forth by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).
  • Describe the fundamental accounting process from creating journal entries for transactions through the closing process as a framework for intermediate accounting.
  • Identify how the balance sheet and financial disclosures help decision makers use this information.
  • Consider important issues relating to income statement content, presentation and disclosure.
  • Describe the purpose of the statement of cash flows and explain its components.
FIN101 Financial Management 3 credits

This course provides a basic introduction to the study of finance, including financial institutions, investments, and corporate finance.

Objectives:

  • Solve problems that involve the time value of money.
  • Perform a basic analysis of financial statements.
  • Describe the components of financial assets.
  • Explain the role of a financial intermediary.
  • Describe the role of security markets.
  • List the components of financial decision making.
ENG121 Business and Technical Writing 3 credits

Learn how to write business and technical documents.

Objectives:

  • Organize your material logically and systematically.
  • Use action verbs effectively and construct paragraphs.
  • Conduct research and document sources.
MAT115 Intermediate Algebra 3 credits

This course introduces basic algebraic concepts that you’ll need to be successful in your career.

Objectives:

  • Understand the systems of equations, polynomials, and radicals.
  • Factor polynomial expressions.
  • Simplify rational expressions.
ACC202 Intermediate Accounting 2 3 credits

Building on the knowledge you gained in Intermediate Accounting 1, this course explains accounting issues relating to revenues, expenses, assets, and liabilities.

Objectives:

  • Explain how companies account for investing in other companies.
  • Discuss the differences between current liabilities and long-term liabilities. 
  • Explain share-based compensation and how to calculate earnings per share.
  • Differentiate between accounting changes and provide explanations for error corrections.
  • Discuss the treatment of long-term liabilities and the extinguishment of debt.
Science Elective (Choose one) 3 credits

SCI120 - Introduction to Biology

This course will allow you to explore the origin of life and the relationships among all living things.

Objectives:

  • Explain how organisms are structured and how they work.
  • Discuss the various forms of life and their processes.

SCI140 - Nutrition

This course will allow you to develop a healthier lifestyle by making smarter nutritional decisions.

Objectives:

  • Explain the various components of nutrition as a science.
  • Describe nutrition from a global viewpoint.
  • Understand the importance of water and exercise.
  • Identify the basics of human growth and aging.
  • Discuss food safety procedures.

SCI110 - Earth Science

This course will allow you to learn about planet Earth and the various aspects of the environment.

Objectives:

  • Describe specific characteristics of Earth.
  • Describe different types of rocks and minerals.
Proctored Exam

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Semester 4

ACC210 Cost Accounting 3 credits

This course breaks down cost accounting, which represents an important bridge between financial and managerial accounting, and will allow you to learn how businesses predict, record, and control their costs.

Objectives:

  • Determine costs of products and services accurately.
  • Recognize how the knowledge of product and service costs is used to set selling prices.
  • Identify the techniques used to measure the performance of managers and subunits within an organization.
  • Describe how the accounting system is used as a tool to motivate managers toward the goals of an organization.
MAT210 Business Statistics 3 credits

This course will provide you the opportunity to explore statistics and how they affect business.

Objectives:

  • Interpret and present data.
  • Analyze frequency distribution, averages, dispersion, and index numbers.
  • Conduct time series analysis.
  • Forecast business.
  • Apply the theory of probability and statistical inference.
BUS213 Business Law 1 3 credits

This course is an introduction to the legal environment of business. Topics covered include American court practice and procedure, alternative dispute resolutions, employment law, business organization and regulation, contract law, and agency relationships.

Objectives:

  • Explain the sources of law.
  • Discuss the judicial process and alternative dispute resolution.
  • Describe different forms of business organization and their characteristics.
  • Explain the elements of contracts and rules pertaining to contracts.
  • Explain the law of agency and laws concerning employment.
ACC211 Computer Applications in Accounting 3 credits

This course will introduce you to two popular accounting software programs—Peachtree® and Excel.® You’ll explore how these business software tools are used to solve problems and enhance small-business decision making. You’ll also learn to apply accounting principles in business applications.

Objectives:

  • Operate Peachtree® effectively: print reports and back up data files.
  • Record, post, and complete the accounting cycle for a service and merchandising enterprise using an automated accounting system.
  • Analyze the business flow of transactions in automated accounting systems, including customer lists, vendor files, inventory records, and employee files.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the voucher system, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll systems, and departmentalized accounting.
  • Analyze and solve management accounting problems relating to operations and business profitability and financial reporting.
  • Create and use simple and complex formulas and functions in Excel.®
  • Incorporate useful charts and graphs using Excel.®
Social Science Elective (Choose one) 3 credits

SSC130 - Essentials of Psychology

This course will introduce you to the relationship between biology and behavior. You will learn about human development throughout the life span.

Objectives:

  • Identify major psychological theories.
  • Discuss consciousness, memory, thought, and language.
  • Define intelligence, personality, and stress.
  • Analyze the role of gender in psychology.
  • Explain how community influences behavior.

SSC105 - World Civilizations

This course will allow you to understand the importance of studying history as it relates to the individual and society as a whole.

Objectives:

  • Discuss the major events of the sixteenth through twentieth centuries.
  • Explain the consequences of events and the trends that they cause.

SSC125 - Introduction to Sociology

This course is designed to introduce you to social structure and social interaction through groups, networks, and organizations. Study politics, the economy, population, social movements, technology, and social change.

Objectives:

  • Describe deviance, crime, and social control.
  • Discuss the effects of stratification, racial and ethnic inequality, sex, gender, and sexuality.
  • Examine the role of health, family, education, and religion in human behavior.
Proctored Exam

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.


Computer Specifications
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows® 7 or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, Microsoft® Office 2013, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete all 4 semesters.
  • Pass all courses.
  • Achieve a cumulative Quality Point Average (QPA) of 2.0 or higher.

NOTE: Advanced standing student shipments may vary from the above schedule.
Although this outline covers all four semesters of your program, you receive lesson materials for each semester as you enroll.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Credits earned in Penn Foster programs may transfer to some, but not all, learning institutions. If you are planning to continue your education with another school after you earn your degree from Penn Foster, you should check with that school regarding credit transfer policies.
Microsoft, Windows, Excel, and PowerPoint are registered trademarks and Word is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view an Accounting Degree sample lesson, click here.

Online Accounting Degree Program Details

In the Penn Foster Accounting Associate degree classes you'll cover topics such as:

online accounting degree

Accountants organize business books and taxes, and they provide financial advice about how to reduce costs and increase profits. Here are a few qualities that efficient accountants have in common:

  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Investigative: The challenge that comes with helping new and old clients is rewarding.
  • Analytical: You enjoy crunching numbers and critically thinking to solve a problem.
  • Independent: You are a decision-maker and finish work on your own.

After earning my degree I received a pay increase and a promotion to a supervisor position. The instructors are superb, helpful, and are there with you every step of the way. Also, the student services representatives are courteous and understanding; they are there to answer any questions you may have. After each assignment I completed, the staff of Penn Foster always had encouraging statements that helped me to stay on course. Congrats to Penn Foster College on being the best and bringing the best out of me.

- Shawn C., Penn Foster College Graduate

Having a degree will increase my chances of being put at the top of the promotion list. I suggest Penn Foster programs all of the time to my coworkers. I am in the military, and Penn Foster is a very military-friendly school. I got all of my materials shipped to me while I was overseas for deployment.

- Amy G., Penn Foster College Graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Books and learning aids
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the Accounting academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

What is the difference between the Accounting Associate Degree Program and the Accounting Undergraduate Certificate Program at Penn Foster College?

The Accounting Undergraduate Certificate provides a solid overview of the basics of accounting and finance. The Accounting Associate Degree is a complete four-semester program that provides students with an understanding of accounting. All credits earned with Penn Foster College's Undergraduate Certificate are transferable to Penn Foster College's Accounting Associate Degree.

Will my Penn Foster College credits transfer to other schools?

Penn Foster College credits have been accepted for transfer into many colleges across the country. Students should check with a specific college to see if they accept our credits, as credit transfer can vary depending on the school. Also, the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) has evaluated and recommended college credit for many Penn Foster College courses. No form of accreditation guarantees that any learning institution will accept credits from any school as transfer credits. For more information on transferring credits, click here.

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